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Foster Child’s Faith Becomes Real, Part 2

The previous post told the story of Mary, a homeless child who found help from a kind Christian family. Read the post, then read more about Mary below.

When you read Mary’s story in the previous post, did you wonder where she lived? It may surprise you to learn that Mary came from North Korea.

She secretly escaped from North Korea because there was never enough food to eat. Many children did not go to school because they were too hungry to learn. She sneaked past North Korean guards to enter China, where her foster family lived. Christians in China can be arrested for helping North Koreans, so her foster family had to be careful.

After Mary left her foster family, she began to draw closer to God. She wanted to encourage secret Christians still living in North Korea. Mary got a job with The Voice of the Martyrs-Korea in South Korea. She helped broadcast Christian radio messages into North Korea. Mary said, “I am blessed by God with the life I now have, and I want to serve Him forever with a thankful heart.”

(Source: VOM-Australia. Edited for length and clarity.)

Read another story and watch a video about Christianity in North Korea here.
Read what can happen to people in North Korea who listen to Christian radio broadcasts here.

Foster Child’s Faith Becomes Real

Mary was a runaway. After she left home, she had nowhere to go. One night, she knocked on a stranger’s door at midnight to ask for help.

Thankfully, a kind woman answered the door. The next morning the woman’s friend helped Mary find a family who welcomed her into their home. The family was very poor, but they shared what they had with their new foster child.

The father of the family was a pastor; Mary called him her “stepfather.” He expected his family to be a good example at their church.

“During this time, my Christianity was very weak, even though I was growing up in a pastor’s home,” Mary said. “I loved all the singing, but felt sleepy during the sermons. I always wanted to sit in the back, but I was made to sit at the front as a good example to others in the church.”

Mary made up her mind to leave her foster home when she turned 20. “It was then I decided I wanted to make my own life and find a job somewhere else,” said Mary. “It was at this stage in my life that Christianity became a real faith to me. I found a church to go to. God reminded me of Christ’s love for me, and I began to pray to Him regularly. Amazingly, I remember a lot of my stepfather’s sermons today.”

(Source: VOM-Australia. Edited for length and clarity.)

Read more about Mary in the next post.

What Do You Think?
Should Mary’s foster father have made her go to church and sit in front even if she didn’t want to? How did going to church help her later in her life?

Braid a Bible Rope

In the 1800s, three Koreans went to China to find work. While they were in China, a Christian shared the gospel with them. They decided to follow Jesus! The men wondered how they could take the good news to the people in their home country, where it was against the law to preach the gospel.

They planned to try to smuggle a Bible into Korea. The first man hid a Bible in his pack of belongings and started out on the long journey home. When he got to Korea, officials found his Bible and executed him. The same thing happened to the second man when he tried to cross the border into Korea with a hidden Bible.

The third Christian knew he had to try something different. He carefully tore out the pages of his Bible. Then he folded each page into a narrow strip. Next he wove the strips into a long rope and tied his pack with the rope. He easily got past the guards at the border with his Bible rope. After he untied the rope and put the Bible back together, he shared the gospel wherever he went.

(Source: On This Day by Robert J. Morgan (Nashville:Thomas Nelson, 1997)

To Try
Cut an 8½- by 11-inch piece of paper in half lengthwise. Write Genesis 1:1 in Korean (see above), or print a copy to tape on one of the halves. Fold or roll the page lengthwise into a tight narrow strip, and tape it shut. Ask someone who is good at braiding to help you braid the page into a homemade “rope,” using yarn or thick string for the other two strands of the rope.

Hide the Bible verse rope in a suitcase full of clothes and other items. Ask someone who does not know about your Bible rope to see if they can find a Bible verse in the suitcase.

(Sources: Bold Believers in North Korea and The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book)

Ching’s Dad

The Voice of the Martyrs USA is part of a worldwide family of missions that were started through the influence of Pastor Richard Wurmbrand. SDOK is VOM’s sister mission in the Netherlands. Stef is SDOK’s children’s publication and website.

The following story comes from Stef magazine.

Close to the Border
Hi, I’m Ching. I have a brother, a father, and a mother. My father is half Chinese and half Korean. He studied to become a pastor. When he was finished with his studies, he was asked to be a pastor at a church in China near the North Korean border.

My father prayed about it, and then he knew, “Yes, that is my place.”

My father was only there for a short time when a famine broke out in North Korea. It was really terrible. The people were very hungry. Many tried to cross the border into China. They were desperately looking for food, medicine, and clothing.

Building with a Cross
Our church has a big cross on it. North Koreans had learned that they could find help at a special building with a cross. When they came to our church, they saw love in the eyes of my father.

Many people came to faith in Christ at the church. My father trained them to go back to North Korea to tell their people about Jesus. They knew it would be dangerous work. But my father said, “It’s better to die with God than to live in a free land without Him.”

Chinese and South Korean officers warned my father, “Your life is in danger [from enemies in North Korea who don’t like Christians].” I heard my parents talk about it. They thought about quitting their work with North Koreans. But God let them know they had to continue. They sent my brother and me to a safer school.

The Word Continues
One day my father got a phone call. My mother didn’t know who was on the line, but it seemed to be someone my father knew. She heard him say, “I’m coming!”

By dinnertime, my father had not come home. Church members went on a search for him. They found his car on the border. He was in it. North Koreans had paid someone to attack him, and he died.

We are sad that my dear father is no longer here. In the beginning, my mother was really angry. I believe that she is not angry anymore. She prays a lot that the North Korean leader will come to know God.

We live in the same place, and we go to the same church. But things have changed. My mother does not dare to help the North Koreans anymore.

But do you know what I like? A lot of people who my father helped now believe in God, and they do the same work he did. So the work for God continues.

Please join Ching’s mother in praying that North Korea’s leader will come to know God, and pray for Ching’s family.

(Source: SDOK. Translated and edited. To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed.)

Fax Blasts and a Brave Daughter

Fax: An image of a document transmitted by a telephone line. Fax machines are used less often today because advances in technology have improved other methods of sending documents.

Dr. Eric Foley, the president of VOM-Korea, told the following story about a creative way that Christians found to send the gospel message into North Korea.

Dr. Foley: Underground Christians in North Korea gathered more than 650 fax numbers of North Korean officials, hotels, government offices, and others. They sent those to us. Christian North Korean students living in South Korea wrote out gospel testimonies and Scripture every week. We would blast fax all those faxes inside North Korea, and we would change the fax number every week. It drove the North Koreans crazy.

You know, there are certain things the North Koreans hate. They hate radio, they hate Scripture balloons, and they really hated the faxes. So they responded with a fax to an embassy in Europe, but it was really to us. It said, “We know you dirty people. We know who you are, and it will not go well for you if you continue.” I remember sitting down with our kids, and saying, “What do you think about this situation? We don’t want to put you guys in danger.” Our daughter said, “Dad, that is what being a Christian is.” She was 13 at the time.

Fear is an entirely understandable reaction to North Korea, but I would challenge all Christians that any time they feel a fear related to news from North Korea that they would stop themselves and say, “Instead of being afraid, I want to intercede for the people of North Korea.”

Radios: Learn more here.
Balloons: Read more here.

Source: Edited for length, age-appropriateness, and clarity.